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News from Rockhampton

16 February, 2024

Rockhampton Parishes Christmas Trivia Night

There’s nothing like a little community spirit to celebrate a great year!  Parishioners, young and old, gathered together on the 10th December 2023 to enjoy a wonderful night, led by the Catholic youth and young adults of Rockhampton!  It began with a scrumptious pot luck dinner, and all the guests went above and beyond in putting on a feast of culinary delights, from nachos to curries, quiches to eggplant parmigiana and so much more!  This was followed by some very entertaining trivia, with many games in between and even a stunning performance of a carol by one of the talented youth, Emily Ellis.  Our fabulous hosts, Tom and Jiwon Whittaker, topped the night off with a round of “kazoo trivia” – guess which song they were playing on their kazoos.

It was a night full of laughter, feasting and community.  Although it was a fundraiser for the building up of youth ministry in Rockhampton (which, praise God, raised almost $1000!), we are sure that the Rocky Catholic community itself was built up through coming together for this wonderful night.

Volunteers without Borders Christmas Lunch

The Volunteers Without Borders shared the blessings and good tidings of Christmas with the homeless, those living alone, the elderly, the refugees and new migrants in Rockhampton. Linda Esguerra, summarised the day as follows:

In 15 years of sharing the true meaning of Christmas with everyone on the Day of the Lord, we have seen the changing faces of our guests and volunteers – the refugees we met 15 years ago have come as volunteers to serve and meet new friends; the Muslim families who joined us for the first time 10 years ago have become our friends and have joined our community initiatives. The Indian girl in lovely colourful traditional costume is now attending university; we met a new group of young children from the Chinese, Vietnamese and Taiwanese communities whose parents provide skilled labour at the local meatworks. They have forged friendship with the Indigenous children who were also at the Banquet.

One of our guests spoke so heartedly saying, “I am so grateful for this moment where, as a veteran, I am welcomed and offered the care and love missing in my life, otherwise…”

Teys Christmas volunteers

Teys Australia provided the main dish of their famous beef steak downed by water and soft drinks, served by all the lovely smiling faces of Teys staff; while Frenchville Sports Club brought the legs of ham carved by the expert hands of our volunteers led by its Manager Damien, who also brought cases of cold water; Doblo’s and Warren’s food stall were generous with their refreshing variety of fruits; Food Sing Trading brought a carton of their Asian delicacies; Red Rooster shared their ever famous roast chicken; Riverstone Restaurant and Brumby’s shared their bread and salads and more…Big Momma served their famous coffee blend from their new coffee van!

We also thought about the front liners rostered to work on Christmas Day and shared with them the food on offer – the paramedics, the A&E staff at the Base Hospital, the Police and the Fire Brigade and SES.

The ambience was full of love; the laughter was even louder; and people just lingered more and shared happy stories of their own.

Bishop Michael McCarthy offered his blessings and was amongst the crowd, meeting new people and enjoyed hearing their stories of joy.

Our last guest came at 4 pm, when we were finishing our clean up and had practically closed up. He was on his road trip to Cape York – he was tired and hungry and was so grateful for the food we offered him.

I believe our blessing for the day was embodied in this traveller – “…for I was hungry and you offered me food….”

St Joseph’s School Opening School Year Mass

St Joseph’s School Park Avenue celebrated the start of the school year 2024 with a Liturgy officiated by Fr Jomon and joined by parishioners and the school community of Park Avenue Catholic Parish . Such a wonderful celebration with even the little  prep children attending with all the students of St Joey’s. The reverent and well behaved students were a delight to watch and congratulations must go to Mr Bernard Fitzgerald and Mrs Elizabeth Carter APRE for a very uplifting Liturgy to welcome in the new school year .

I was very grateful to have the opportunity to attend as Parish Manager of Park Avenue Catholic Parish.

Kevin Hogan

Long Service Awards for Emmaus College Staff Members

Last week, our staff gathered at St. Joseph’s Cathedral for the 2024 Catholic Education Opening Mass. Following the Mass, Diocesan Director Catholic Education Miss Leesa Jeffcoat and Bishop Michael presented plaques to long serving employees.

On behalf of the Diocese of Rockhampton we would like to congratulate our Emmaus College staff members and thank them for the wonderful service to Catholic Education and our school – Nikki Parkin 22 Years, Seamus Toman 30 years and Karyl Young 40 years.

We are very blessed to have such dedicated people in our Emmaus family. Congratulations!